Leaves 12-16 per plant, 1/2 in. wide, light green, somewhat taller than female spikes.   Little or no space between male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers on  spike. San Juan Creek, Ave. Aeropuerto to mouth, 6-30-13. © Ron Vanderhoff

Broad-leaved Cat-tail

Typha latifolia

Range extends across the entire temperate northern hemisphere. Common at the edge of ponds, perennial streams and marshes, and shallow fresh or brackish water throughout the county. Very common at Upper Newport Bay. It is considered invasive in salt marshes with reduced salinity where it can displace other native species (Wikipedia). Male flowers have colorless hair- or strap-like scales (bracts); deep yellow-orange 4-celled pollen grains.  Pistillate flowers have no bractlets; pistillate spikes 4 to 7 in. long, medium to red- or blackish-brown, white-mottled in age; sterile ovary straw-colored, not visible at spike surface.   Flowering June-July. Uses

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UCI Freshwater Marsh, Irvine, CA. 12-12-11. © Joan Avise

Plant 3 to 7 1/2 ft. tall. Huntington Central Park, Huntington Beach, CA. 9-16-11. © Joan Avise

UCI Freshwater Marsh, Irvine, CA. 7-27-07. © Joan Avise

Chiquita Creek, adj. Tesoro High School, 09-05-13. © Ron Vanderhoff